2007-08-28-Goodman-league

What the Goodman League means to Washington D.C.

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This is the latest in PBT’s “if you read just one story today make it this one” series.

Over at TrueHoop Beckley Mason has a fantastic profile of The Goodman League and the man who makes it happen, Miles Rawls. It comes on the eve of the most anticipated game of the summer — NBA star’s from Los Angeles’ Drew League are coming to Goodman to take on their All-Stars. Kevin Durant and John Wall will be among those suiting up for Goodman, James Harden and DeMar DeRozan are just a couple of the Drew League names.

But Goodman is a lot more than just NBA players balling (where you get to watch up close for free). That is the brilliant part of the story — it describes how the league is a neutral zone, a respite in the city’s troubled Barry Farms neighborhood.

“Barry Farms is one of the toughest neighborhoods in D.C.,” Durant says, “and every time we play, nothing happens. No fights, nobody wants to get into it. It’s like family and that’s what I like about playing down there….”

For the players, it’s high-level competition, but for the audience, it’s a block party, a picnic and, oh yeah, some basketball. Lawn chairs, hot wings, squealing children, french fries and Philly blunts are the norm courtside. At halftime, a D.J. mixes Motown with Go-Go and contemporary.

It’s like that in other places — the Drew League is in a rough part of Los Angeles, the Melo Center was funded by Carmelo Anthony in Baltimore because the area needed something like that. These leagues are about community coming together in areas that could use more of it.

Go read the whole story, you’ll come away with a better understanding of Rawls, the league and D.C. And if it’s possible, you’ll like Kevin Durant even more.

Patrick Beverley shuts down Westbrook on final play, bowls through own coach (VIDEO)

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Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.

Via Twitter:

The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.

With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.

Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:

The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.

Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan’s bromance continues after beating Celtics (VIDEO)

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Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.

In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.

DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.

“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.

Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.

The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.

Kevin Durant gets fouled by Stephen Curry, officials whistle Joe Johnson instead (VIDEO)

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The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.

As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.

With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.

Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.

Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.

It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.

Perhaps that’s some solace?

Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.

DeMarcus Cousins trolls Joakim Noah on shooting form (VIDEO)

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AP
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New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.

DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.

During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.

Via Twitter:

Looks about right.